Sir Godfrey Kneller.  Lady Henrietta Churchill and her son William
Sir Godfrey Kneller.  Lady Henrietta Churchill and her son William

Sir Godfrey Kneller. Lady Henrietta Churchill and her son William

c. 1710 United Kingdom

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Portrait of Lady Henrietta Churchill, later Duchess of Marlborough (1681 - 1733) with her son William Godolphin, later Marquess of Blandford (c.1700 - 1731) at her side. Lady Henrietta is seated in an interior wearing a green silk dress with a rose coloured cloak, beside a stone plinth supporting a classical urn to one side and drapery to the other. Her son wears a blue coat over a white chemise and holds the hand of his mother, with her other hand resting on his shoulder. Circa 1710. Oil on canvas in a giltwood frame.
Dimensions: 125.8 x 95.2cm (49.5 x 37.25in)

Henrietta Churchill was the eldest daughter of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and his wife Sarah Jennings. In 1722, on the Duke`s death, she succeeded as Duchess of Marlborough in her own right. In 1698, she married Francis, 2nd Earl of Godolphin, the son of Queen Anne's Lord High Treasurer, becoming Lady Godolphin. She had five children, William (c. 1700 - 1731), later Marquess of Blandford (seen in this portrait), who married Catherine de Jongh, Henry (b.c.1700), Margaret (b.c.1703), Henrietta (d.1776), later Duchess of Newcastle and Mary (1723 - 1764), later Duchess of Leeds.

Sir Godfrey Kneller (Lubeck 1646 - London 1723) was the most prolific and distinguished painter of Baroque portraits in England. He had some training with Bol and Rembrandt and came to London in 1676. In 1688 he was appointed Principal Painter to the King (jointly with John Riley who died in 1691) a post he retained until his death, being made a Knight in 1692 and a baronet in 1715. He created a new format of portraiture - the 'Kit - kat' for the members of the Kit - kat Club (political leaders of the Whig party), many of which now hang in the National Portrait Gallery in London. He was the first governor of the first 'Academy' in London until he was succeeded by Thornhill in 1718.

Literature: 'The Dictionary of 16th and 17th Century British Painters' Ellis Waterhouse, 1988.
Very Good
By descent to Henrietta's younger daughter Lady Mary Churchill, Duchess of Leeds (1723 - 1764);
Thence by family descent until sold by the trustees of the 12th Duke of Leeds at Hornby Castle, Lancashire, 1964;
J.H.C. Evelyn; by whose trustees sold, London, Christies November 1972 (as attributed to Kneller), sold to Ledbury;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's March 1990 (as Charles D'Agar)
Private collection, London
Dimensions
Height 125.80 cm (49.53 inches)
Width 95.20 cm (37.48 inches)
Stock Code
78
Medium
Oil on canvas
Signed/Inscribed
Circa 1710
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